Bombardier is moving into the detailed design phase on the larger CSeries variant with plans for a high-density version intact despite a rejection by a potential launch customer.

AirAsia earlier today selected the Airbus A320neo instead of a 160-seat version of the normally 130- to 145-seat CS300, the larger sister to the 110- to 130-seat CS100.

But Bombardier says it remains "optimistic" about the high-density product, and its specifications are being refined as the CS300 programme transitions from the joint definition phase into the detailed design phase in the company's internal development process.

The high-density configuration is achieved without the need for additional fuselage plugs. "It's not another stretch," Bombardier says. The extra seating could require certain design changes, such as additional exit doors, to meet airworthiness regulations, the company adds.

Other potential CSeries buyers continue to discuss the 160-seat option with Bombardier, the company says, adding that AirAsia remains a potential sales target as well.

"AirAsia continues to be a customer who we look forward to doing business with," Bombardier says.

The baseline version of the CS300 is expected to follow the CS100 into service about a year later.

Bombardier still expects the CS100 to enter service in June 2014, a delay of about six months from the original schedule revealed in early November.

The CS100 moved from the joint definition phase into detailed design in July 2010.

Bombardier expects detailed design of the CS300 to be completed more rapidly because it is not a new aircraft but a derivative.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news